Among children born full term, those conceived with the help of fertility drugs are slightly shorter than naturally conceived children but overall are physically healthy.
Researcher Tim Savage says, "Reassuringly, these children remained well within the normal height range for both their sex and age."
Because some studies have found that IVF-conceived children are taller than naturally conceived children, researchers wanted to determine whether there was a difference in height for children whose mothers used only fertility drugs. IVF includes fertilization and culture of embryos in a laboratory dish before re-implanting them in the womb. Successful use of fertility drugs alone is at least twice as common as IVF, accounting for about 5% percent of all live births in the developed world. This may be why we're getting shorter.
The cause of the slightly shorter stature of fertility drug–conceived children is unclear. Also unknown is whether these children catch up when they reach their full adult height.
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